Home Attic Style 10 living room sofa ideas – the essential design rules for sofa layouts and trends

10 living room sofa ideas – the essential design rules for sofa layouts and trends

by Monika Bürger
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The living room sofa is usually the largest – if not the most expensive – item in a room and is often the most dominant piece, so it is no surprise that the sofa usually dictates the style of the room.
Asked to name their most indispensable piece of living room furniture, most people would opt for the sofa. Cosseting and useful, upholstered seating has been a feature of the western home since the 18th century, morphing gradually from the prim settles of Georgian days to the more familiar sofas and armchairs of the 20th-century. 

But today, as technology and lifestyles change, the living room sofa has acquired a more pivotal role. Gone are the days when the three-piece suite, festooned with antimacassars, was the place to entertain visiting vicars or slump in front of the television on a Saturday night.

So whether you are buying new or decorating around an existing one, look to these living room sofa ideas for inspiration.


Sofas and living room seating ideas are becoming more multi-purpose as the routines of family life blur. Nowadays, a living room sofa is not just for entertaining or watching TV; we eat on them, use our laptops or play games from them or watch our home-cinema screens. 

Concurrent with our quest for functionality is a return to more nostalgic seating. Perhaps it is a reflection of the economic climate and a desire to turn our homes into reality-buffering cocoons. Or maybe it is just a flamboyant thumbs-up to a decade of minimalist living room ideas. Whatever the reason, there is no undermining that our sofas play a pivotal role in our homes.


A living room with navy blue panelled walls and a burnt orange velvet sofa
(Image credit: Future/Brent Darby)

A living room sofa that’s the full length of the opposite wall could prove overbearing in a room scheme. But you also do not want a sofa that is too small. One approach to getting the right proportions is to aim for a sofa that’s about two-thirds of the wall length.

It is possible to choose a smaller sofa, however, perhaps influenced by the pieces of furniture nearby. ‘When scaling a sofa to a room – as a rule of thumb – we tend to make the sofa half the size of the wall it is going on. This will allow the space around it to breathe – and also accommodate space for side tables with lamps on either side,’ says interior designer Bee Osborn of Studio Osborn.

Add throw pillows to whatever room needs an extra dose of comfy. Filled with a fluffy faux-down insert, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style. Available in four sizes and all measurements are made without pillow insert.

<< More Throw Pillow Styles >>


Living room with white sofas and cream walls
(Image credit: David Cleveland / Future)

While the dimensions of the living room are an essential factor when choosing the right sofa, how the room is used will also influence which sofa size is best for your space.

When a room is used largely for entertaining visitors, two sofas facing one another can prove more sociable than one large version that puts sitters in a line. The sofas will accordingly need sizing down with adequate space between and around them.

Square now means trendy and stylish. (We’ve updated Wikipedia and have word out to Merriam Webster… they’re getting back to us.) With our wood wall art’s multi-square design, you have the power to adjust the spacing between each section to form exactly the right look. Available in three sizes.

<< More Wood Wall Art Print Artworks >>


Open plan living room with white walls and l-shaped sofa
(Image credit: Anna Stathaki / Future)

A sectional will often work well as a room divider. ‘A large L-shaped sofa is a great choice for an open-plan space as it helps to delineate the sitting room area from the dining area or kitchen,’ says Emma Sims-Hilditch of Sims Hilditch.

But a sectional can also be a smart choice for a small living room because it’s more space-efficient than a sofa plus armchair combination. In this case, choose a design with dimensions that follow the perimeter of the room.

Find somewhere soft to land. Our floor cushions are the super comfy and style-forward option for the boho side of us all. They’re UV coated to protect against fading and water resistant so you can avoid scrambling to bring them inside whenever there’s a touch of weather. Grab a few to have on hand whenever seating is hard to come by or for a fun option for kids to use out in the yard.

<< More Floor Pouf Styles >>


Living room with green sofa and blue armchairs
(Image credit: Ian Baldwin / Future)

The living room color scheme you choose for the sofa will influence how commanding it appears in the room, so consider its hue in these terms as well as thinking about it as part of space’s overall color scheme.

Color-wise, we’re increasingly looking to nature to inform the narrative, leaning towards inky blues and moss green, while there’s also a return of earthy tones, like beige and rust. When homeowners want to go bold, hues are still warm and inviting, echoing nature’s spices like hot paprika and golden turmeric.

Express your style all over your home with a feature-worthy rug. They’re made from a woven, polyester chenille for a soft and textured look. Plus, choosing from our wide array of designs, you’re sure to find just the rug to match your decor. Rugs are one of the best, attention-grabbing pieces to design a room around. Use the colors within the rug to help choose art prints, furniture fabric, and accent pillows.

<< More Oriental Bohemian Rug Styles >>


Living room with blue fluted sofa and mirror wall
(Image credit: James Merrell / Future)

The shape of the sofa is also a key consideration. If the room has a low ceiling, opt for a sofa with a lower back to keep the design in proportion to the room’s height. A design with a low back can also create the illusion of extra space below more usual ceiling heights.

When it comes to sofa trends for 2022, modern-retro fluting and glamorous curved lines are de rigueur, while at the opposite end of the scale a raw, organic, and unrefined aesthetic is also breaking through.

As experts in the field of sitting down, we thoughtfully crafted our Floor Pillows to be overstuffed, plush and firm. These cushions never lose their shape, and the high-quality print makes sure the design stays crisp and colorful.

<< More Floor Pillow Styles >>


As well as the overall form, or shape, of the sofa, focus on its arms. ‘We consider the height of the arms and the reach to the side for side tables,’ says interior designer Amanda Meade. ‘Bulky arms can often obscure the flow in a room.’

Pay particular attention to how the sofa’s arms will affect sightlines through space. They shouldn’t block the view of a window nor another of the room’s features.

Invite the sun inside on your terms. Our blackout window curtains are a denser alternative to your standard window curtain, blocking out most light and proudly featuring your favorite designs. Whether you live in a busy apartment or a peaceful neighborhood, it’s always nice to have the option to shut out the sun and relax inside by the candlelight. Available in either single or double panel options.

<< More Blackout Curtain Styles >>
Furniture trends 2021
(Image credit: Future / Jake Curtis)

Rattan, wicker, and woven materials are no longer considered dull, dated, or dreary, and we very much welcome its highly-anticipated revival. With texture and intrigue at the forefront of design for 2022, rattan furniture has quickly found itself to be one of the hottest trends in the world of décor.

Add throw pillows to whatever room needs an extra dose of comfy. Filled with a fluffy faux-down insert, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style. Available in four sizes and all measurements are made without pillow insert.

<< More Throw Pillow Styles >>


Living room with cream sofa
(Image credit: Davide Lovatti / Future)

‘Raw materials and unrefined finishes are without a doubt two of the biggest sofa trends we’re seeing for 2022,’ says Nicola Bissoli, head of interior design at The Sofa & Chair Company. Natural, pared-back designs are combined with heavy textures such as boucle, creating a lovely tactile look and feel.

Along with this, we’re seeing the return of beige – warm, earthy shades are making a big comeback to replace cool greys as a base color. If opting for a statement sofa that will add a pop of color to a neutral space, tones inspired by nature (particularly ocean blues and mossy greens) are still the best option.’

Our customers tell us ALL the time how soft and warm our Throw Blankets are (the secret: Sherpa fleece). Even better, they get softer the more you wash them. They’re a perfect addition to any living room couch. Featuring a crisp, vivid design on the front with a reverse white side.

<< More Throw Blanket Styles >>


Living room with orange curved sofa
(Image credit: Davide Lovatti / Future)

Full-on voluptuous or gently rounded, curves will lift the layout and soften the overall look of your room, adding a statement design focus to your living room décor.

‘There’s been a shift away from the more formal arrangement of two sofas facing each other in favor of more relaxed, curvaceous shapes that provide both comfort and ample space for entertaining,’ says Suzy McMahon, buying director at Sofology.

From sideshow to show-stopper, our side tables will be a stunning modern accent to your space. Selecting from our wide array of artist’s designs printed with a satin finish on birch wood, you’ll take any room from zero to a hundred. Available in a square or round table top, and black or gold leg colors.

<< More Side Table Styles >>


living room with blue floral sofa pink rug and black cabinet and artwork
(Image credit: Polly Wreford / Claudia Bryant)

Let your living room sofa do the talking. Lisa Whatnough, of Studio Squint, observes:  ‘Instead of a wallpaper or curtain fabric being the catalyst for a room scheme, I advise clients to start with the sofa; everything should complement that.’  

Here, the neutral backdrop allows for the bright, floral upholstery on the sofa to take center stage.

Park it in style on this incredibly versatile bench, upholstered with vegan leather featuring all the designs you love. The perfect indoor bench, it will give any space an instant upgrade. Dress it with plush blankets or throw pillows to keep it elegant, but super cush.

<< More Bench Styles >>


Be mindful of scale in interior design when arranging your living room sofa. Correct sofa scaling is imperative for a successful living room, along with selecting its shape and color.

‘Size takes precedence as it is crucial for the perception of a room volume to choose the most appropriate dimensions,’ says BIID registered interior designer Hedayat of  Jam By Hedayat

‘You want to make sure that your sofa has enough circulation around it – as well as space – so that it does not dwarf any design details or features in a room. A living room sofa that is too large will engulf the room disproportionately, and one that is too small will not serve its function.’

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